Canadian Fedwatch! News Across the Nation

Nova Scotia Students Gain New Deal

The Provincial Government of Nova Scotia has signed a deal (http://www.gov.ns.ca/news/details.asp?id=20041207002) with the local universities that will cap tuition increases for the next three years with the promise of guaranteed increased provincial funding.

While many students and student organizations cry for tuition freezes like this, they often neglect to consider that expenses for universities continue to rise during a freeze. Without a promise of increased provincial funding, a tuition freeze is just putting off the damage, as we’ve seen in British Columbia where university tuitions sky-rocketed over 30% in a single year after the freeze ended. There are rumours that we may well be seeing it in Ontario when the McGuinty government ends their promised tuition freeze next year.

Hopefully, the provincial government of Nova Scotia has found the right balance to not only keep tuition fees down and affordable for their citizens, but also to ensure that the universities don’t suffer because of it. What’s very strange is that Nova Scotia, a province that requires equalization payments, can afford to do this, while Alberta, a province that has paid off its debt and boasts a 4.1 billion surplus(http://www.gov.ab.ca/home/index.cfm?page=941) in its budget can not.

I guess it all boils down to priorities.

The “Greatest Canadian” White Male

So the votes are in and apparently Canadians thought that the Greatest Canadian is none other than Saskatchewan’s own Tommy Douglas (http://www.gov.sk.ca/newsrel/releases/2004/11/30-754.html). Given the variety of options (http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/), the odds were about 70% in favour of it being a dead white man, so I’m not too surprised. Now what might be interesting is a contest that actually encompassed the other gender as well. And please, something beyond Celine Dion.

Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with Tommy Douglas. Given the options, he’s the one I voted for, if only because to me it seems like his ideas are the ones that have had the greatest influence on shaping the Canada that we have today, and ensuring our differentiation from our neighbours to the south. After all, as many of them are now learning, choice is a wonderful thing.

Feeling Panicked?

Statistics Canada says that you’re not alone. They recently reported (http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/041129/d041129b.htm) that just under 1 million people 15 or over have suffered from panic disorder, or recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. So I guess that means the one you get the night before your exam for the course for which you still haven’t finished the last assignment doesn’t count.

The report says that the onset is typically around the age of 25, which happens to be the prime time for finishing education and starting a career. This is one of the things distance education is wonderful for. If you can transfer your courses from one institution to another, the onset of a panic disorder doesn’t have to mean the end of your life.

Unfortunately, the article is pretty uninformative about any efforts to handle this, but considering how much productivity is lost to this disease, at least information like this might get people thinking about it and what they can do combat it. So the next time you’re stressing out about your upcoming exam, sit back, take a deep breath, and remember: you’re not alone.

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